Nov. 22, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- JerShon Cobb buried a runner in the lane with 2.3 seconds left on the clock to propel Northwestern to an exciting 63-61 victory over the IUPUI Jaguars in the opening game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Friday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Cobb finished the ballgame with eight points to go along with three rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal Friday. Drew Crawford led Northwestern with 12 points and 10 rebounds to secure his second double-double of the young season. The fifth-year senior scored all 12 of his tallies in the second half as he eclipsed 1,500 points in his illustrious NU career. The milestone bucket came on ferocious put-back dunk with 1:38 remaining in the ballgame.
The Wildcats found themselves trailing by as many as 11 points in the opening 20 minutes before closing the gap to just a point with 3:11 left to play in the first half. IUPUI matched its largest lead of the night after Ian Chiles made one-of-two at the free throw line, just over nine minutes into the ballgame. NU's Kale Abrahamson drilled a three-pointer on his team's next possession and the comeback was on.
About four and a half minutes later, newcomer Nathan Taphorn connected for a triple of his own to pull Northwestern within a single tally. The 'Cats would not be able to regain the lead, however, as the teams broke for the intermission; IUPUI carried a narrow 31-28 lead into its locker room.
Northwestern shot a respectable 40 percent from the field in the first half, but the Jaguars were a shade better at 46.7 percent. The visitors also took better care of the basketball as they committed three turnovers to the home squad's six.
As the second half got underway, IUPUI continued to play well and protect the basketball as Chicago's Big Ten Team found itself trailing by that magical number of 11 points with just over 10 minutes to play. Using a swarming defensive pressure and beginning with a pair of Crawford free throws, the 'Cats produced an energizing 14-2 run over the span of just three and a half minutes to finally regain the lead. Alex Olah's offensive rebound and resulting bucket put Northwestern ahead, 52-51, with 6:26 to go.
As the clock ticked down, the adversaries went back and forth in the lead position on the scoreboard. IUPUI's Mitch Patton sank two free throws with 20 seconds to go to knot the score at 61-61. NU head coach Chris Collins called timeout and ultimately called Cobb's number to set up the game-winning basket with less than three seconds to play.
Northwestern will be idle for the rest of the weekend before playing its second home game of the Las Vegas Invitational at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Monday night at 7 p.m. The 'Cats will host the Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb for the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Tickets are available on NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775).
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